Tag Archives: Belgian Strong Ale

405. The Lost Abbey 10 Commandments

Lost Abbey 10 CommandmentsThis is my first beer from Lost Abbey and why not start with a BIG one. Pours a deep brown with a big tan head.  Big aroma with lots of malts and dark fruits and some alcohol.

Taste has a lot going on with the dark fruits coming through but also a surprising amount of bitterness. Alcohol is also quite evident in the finish. I let this beer warm a bit thinking it would change the overall experience and surprisingly it did not.

No doubt this is a big bold beer that you need to be prepared for. Don’t try to drink it with dinner or on a hot summer afternoon. Glad I was able to try something from Lost Abbey but I certainly would not make an effort to get another bottle of this one. 
Pros:
Big, bold and high ABV
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 10% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Lost Abbey
Brewers Description: A stronger version of our Lost and Found Abbey Ale brewed to a more contemplative alcohol content. Massive in every stretch of the brewing way possible this is the sort of beer that will remind a beer drinker who considers themselves a saint that even saints stray as sinners from time to time.

Not for the faint of heart, this beer weighs in at a heavenly 10% ABV and is available in 750 ml bottles and on draft at select locations

369. Stone Brewing 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale

Stone 12.12.12 Vertical EpicOn 12-12-12 I decided to be just like everyone else and open my bottle of Stone’s Vertical Epic 12.12.12. I was not aware of the Stone Vertical Epic series until last year so I missed out on most of the series including the 10.10.10 which I really want a bottle of as October 10th is my birthday.

12.12.12 is a Belgian Strong Ale that also incorporates a lot of characteristics of a winter warmer. Pours almost entirely black with a very nice tan head. Aroma has plenty of spice; cinnamon and nutmeg being the most prevalent. Taste is quite nice with tons of cinnamon, there area  couple other things happening here but they are masked by the huge amounts of cinnamon. There is a bit of alcohol warmth and mouthfeel is OK, not too thick and not too thin.

Overall this beer surprised me as I was not expecting much but it is unlike any other beer I have had and certainly enjoyable. 
Pros: 

Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 9.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness):
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Stone Brewing
Brewers Description:  APPEARANCE -Deep black with a dark brown, foamy head.

AROMA – First impressions are of cinnamon and allspice, combined with fruity banana esters and hints of clove from the Belgian yeast. As the beer warms in the glass, swirl it around and take in the aromatics one more time-caramel, dark toffee and molasses notes come into play as well. The end result is a wonderful juxtaposition of roasted malts, yeast esters and baking spices.

TASTE – Intense cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice with banana esters dominate up front. Hints of citrus arrive mid-palate, while molasses notes persevere in the finish along with a very nice dark-roasted malt dryness.

PALATE -A full, but not sweet, extremely dry finish. Very complex with great flavor balance.

OVERALL – The aromas wafting through the brewery as we brewed this beer were amazing! We couldn’t think of a better way to sign off this Epic series of beers.

This beer will transport you to a very warm place; the house is warm, a fire’s going and grandma’s in the kitchen baking away.

360. Allagash Brewing Confluence

This was the final beer of my all Allagash Brewing beer week and without realizing it I left the best for last. As you can tell from the photo we got just a bit of snow here which made for a great photo.

This beer has a nice light orange color with a thick white head. Smell pales in comparison to the taste with only a hint of funk, a bit of grape almost wine like and a touch of green apple. Taste is where this one excels with a little bit of everything. You have the apple, pear from the Belgian yeast, quite a bit of funk from the Brett, a bit of lemon and citrus from the hops and some spiciness. Overall this beer has something for everyone as long as you enjoy some funk in your beer.

Finish is very crisp and clean. This beer is just so smooth and well done that if you have never tried it keep your eye out for a bottle. 
Pros:
Incredibly complex 
Cons: 

Alcohol Content: 7.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness):
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Allagash Brewing
Brewers Description: Allagash Confluence Ale is created with a mixed fermentation; utilizing our house primary Belgian style yeast in combination with our proprietary Brettanomyces strain. The two yeast strains work in tandem creating a marriage between spice and fruit flavors that ultimately leave a lingering silky mouth feel. Confluence is brewed with a blend of both imported pilsner and domestic pale malts as well as a portion of caramel malt, resulting in a complex malty profile. Tettnang and East Kent Golding hops are added in the brew process to balance the intricate malty profile while adding a sweet and spicy citrus aroma. After fermentation, Confluence undergoes a lengthy aging process in stainless steel tanks to enhance the flavors. Prior to bottling, it is dry hopped with a Glacier hops, providing a pleasant balance of aromas.

358. Allagash Brewing Fluxus (2012)

This is the first year I have tried Allagash Fluxus but according to their site this beer changes each year. This years version has green and pink peppercorns in it.

Appearance is very similar to the past few beers from Allagash – orange with a nice white head. The head on this one was slightly thinner than some of the others but still a nice looking beer. The aroma has some spice and of course the typical Belgian yeast smell from Allagash beer. Taste is pleasant with lots of pepper and some coriander as well as a nice lingering bitterness. There is also a bit of funk with this beer to add another layer of complexity.

Finish is clean and the 750 ml bottle was gone fairly quickly. An enjoyable beer but not sure it was worth the money as I believe this was a $15+ bottle of beer. 
Pros: 
Complex flavor
Cons:
Expensive
Alcohol Content: 7.7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Allagash Brewing
Brewers Description: Fluxus is a beer brewed every year to commemorate the anniversary of our first beer sold in July 1995. The name Fluxus is Latin for continuous change, something we seem to find ourselves in. Every year, Fluxus is brewed with a different recipe, giving our brewers a chance to push the limits of beer.

*Allagash Fluxus is brewed to help fund a scholarship set up for pediatric nurses at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. For details on the great work that they do there, go to mmc.org.

146. Scaldis Noel (Bush De Noel)

It has been a couple of days since I drank this beer and I am still not sure about it. It is the first beer that does not come in a 12 oz or higher bottle with only an 8.5 oz pour from the very decorative Christmas themed bottle. Appearance is different than most other beers and the best comparison I can make is to apple cider with similar color, minimal head and a sweet spicy smell. Taste mirrors the smell as long as you let it warm slightly. Belgiums were not meant to be enjoyed cold and this is no exception. At 12% alcohol you do get a slight burn but the sweet malts and caramels mask this pretty well. Not really my style of beer but worth trying.
Pros: Original
Cons: Expensive for a small bottle
Alcohol Content: 12% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Dubuisson
Brewers Description: Bush de Noël was born in 1991 to satisfy consumers seeking a hearty beer for the Christmas and New Year celebrations. A product made exclusively from malt, hops, candy sugar and water, Bush de Noël is a high fermentation, filtered beer and has an alcohol volume of 12%. The substantial use of caramel malt gives it a coppery red colour and an exceptional roundness. Particularly carefully studied hopping gives Bush de Noël a consistent, fruity flavour with a delicately hopped aroma. A limited edition beverage, Bush de Noël is an indispensable reference among the end-of-year beers

107. Stone Vertical Epic (11/11/11)

I think this is only my second review of a Stone Brewing beer and both have been unique but not necessarily my kind of beer. This one pours a great amber color with solid tan head. Lots of fruits and a fair amount of alcohol in the aroma on this one. Taste is complex with many different fruity flavors and a lot of lingering aftertaste. Not a bad taste at all but it certainly lingers for some time after you are done. This is an interesting beer but certainly a Belgium style which I usually do not enjoy as many other types of beer. Stone Brewing says this beer ages well in the bottle and may be best after 12-12-12 so I may purchase another bottle and try it again next year. If so I will post an update or a new review for the aged version of their 11-11-11 brew.
Pros: Complex
Cons: Too Fruity
Alcohol Content: 9.4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★½☆☆
Brewers Website: Stone Brewing
Brewers Description: As with any good epic, herein lies the promise of larger-than-life experiences, heroics and twists & turns as the adventure unfolds. These bottle-conditioned ales are specifically designed to be aged until sometime after December 12th, 2012. Provided you can wait that long. At that time, enjoy them in a “vertical” tasting. Each one unique to it’s year of release. Each with its own “twist & turn” in the plotline. Each one released one year, one month and one day from the previous year’s edition. To remind you, the remaining dates are: 12.12.12

102. Unibroeu Terrible

This is the first beer that I bought because of the bottle. The bottle is a great dark brown with silver label. Unfortunately I did not get a very good picture as I was using my phone at Thanksgiving dinner. The beer itself had a great dark color and solid head. Aroma had some fruit and yeast aspects to it. Taste was bad at first but improved as the beer got warmer. I should have looked at the suggested serving temperature below because it was much better towards the end of the bottle. Of course some of that may have been the 10.5% ABV helping to mask the taste. Overall a bit disappointing but I did only buy it because of the bottle.
Pros: Bottle
Cons: Needs to be served warm
Alcohol Content: 10.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 15
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Brewers Website: Unibroue
Brewers Description:

Origin Chambly, Quebec
Brewed since 2002
ABV 10.5%
Fermentation High
Style Abbey-style
Color Black, nearly opaque dark chestnut color
SRM 45
Clarity low
Head Persistent and thick
Bubbles Thin
Effervescence Medium
Nose Rich notes of fruits and spices
Flavor Subtle fruit flavors are complemented by rich Madeira wine notes.
IBU 15
Suggested serving temperature 10 – 12°C / 50 – 54°F
Suggested glass Chalice

37. Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre

The first Dogfish Head review and it is not their best but certainly better than the last beer I had. This is the first in a series of high alcohol content beers made for sipping and not chugging. Having a full 8% alcohol content you can certainly taste the alcohol more than in the typical 4-5% ABV beers. There is a lot of flavor in this one and sip seems to bring something different. It has a great dark color, nice aroma and could be enjoyed with a meal or all by itself. I happened to enjoy this one in the evening after supper and I’m thinking it will be my last beer of the night.
Pros: Complex flavor, color, aroma
Cons: Strong alcohol taste
Alcohol Content: 8.0%
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 25
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Dogfish Head
Brewers Description: A deep, mahogany Belgian-style brown ale brewed with beet sugar, raisins, and Belgian-style yeast.
We began brewing this one at our brewpub in 1996 (we began packaging and selling it sometime in 1998) as the answer to the question, “What beer should I enjoy with a wood-grilled steak?” Raison D’Etre fits the bill, tasty and as complex as a fine, red wine.

Food Pairing Recommendations: Steak, duck, game, wine-reduction sauces, Blue cheese, goat cheese, ham, mussels

Tasting Notes:
pit fruit, decadent, winey, raisiney, malty
Wine Comparable:
Bordeaux